General Motors is no stranger to bringing models in from other countries, as the Chevy SS, Pontiac G8, Cadillac Catera and many other past and present models are rebadged versions of European or Australian models. The Buick Regal is one of those cars, as it is little more than a rebadged version of the Opel Insignia. Though it is technically a Germany-sourced car, its assembly takes place north of our borders in Oshawa, Ontario. According to a report from Auto News, this may soon change.
GM’s Oshawa plant has been the center of uncertainty for some time now, as the auto giant refuses to commit to continuing to build cars there in the long term. As of today, the Oshawa plant is home to the Regal, the Camaro, the Cadillac XTS and the Chevy Impala, and there is a case to move each of these cars out of Canada — one of the most expensive countries in the world to build a car. The Camaro will shift to the Lancing, Michigan plant in its next generation; the Impala already has some of its assembly done in the Detroit-Hamtrack plant; and the XTS is produced in small numbers, making it easy to shift production, and may not survive but a few more years regardless. So, that leaves only the Regal as the car GM cannot simply shift to an American plant.
This means that the Regal could move across the Atlantic Ocean and eat up some of the unused production capacity of the Russelsheim plant in Germany. Opel even made a statement that “a future model which will be sold in the U.S. under the Buick brand name” will be produced in this plant later in this decade.
All the stars align when you consider that rumors also point toward the Regal receiving a redesign in 2017 — the same time as the Insignia — and lend a lot of credence to this report that Opel will handle the next Regal from stamping through assembly. This should not only increase quality, as the folks who stamp the parts will assemble them too, but also lower production costs to help offset the cost of shipping the Regal.